Have you ever considered creating an app, or a series of apps, for your company? Is the thought of trying to come up with a viable concept and then getting it developed a little daunting?

 

Don’t worry, there’s an app for that!

 

Kidding aside, though, today’s customer as well as today’s employee demands that their phone or tablet be their primary internet access tool. They want information, communication and interaction and they want it 24/7.

 

It’s the smart business that dives head first into this particular technology pool.

 

But what do you develop?

 

Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what to do. After all, you don’t just want to blindly go into the app game. You want to know what you’re going to have built and why, and you also want some reasonable expectation of a return on investment.

 

As you begin to ponder, keep a few things in mind:

 

• A mobile app is sort of a small website – it can do anything a website can, including accessing secured data and providing complete interaction.

• Don’t just pick one platform. Always design for iOS as well as Android.

• Proceed with the rule of thumb that what you’re creating is going to provide true value and benefit to the user – take care of them first, and you’ll see positive results.

 

Also, there’s something else to keep in mind. Essentially, there are two kinds of users to consider: your customers and your employees. Each category has its own needs and wants, and each is going to return you a particular brand of value.

 

What can apps really do?

 

As mentioned above, there’s virtually no limit. However, there is one thing to keep in mind. Apps, although capable of being huge applications in their own right, should generally stick to a single function or a single set of closely related functions.

 

This actually makes them more useful and easy to use for the user – a lot of use there, huh?

 

It’s true, however. Your app should focus on a single purpose. To get an idea, just look at the apps in your phone now. You may have one that lets you access your bank accounts, a weather app, a game, a stock quoter, an audible.com app to listen to audio books, Pandora or Spotify, a news feed and so on.

 

The point is, your Pandora music app doesn’t also show stock quotes and your banking app doesn’t let you play games. They are separate, independent and provide a single function.

 

A few quick ideas

 

While we have no idea what type of business you’re in, these two short lists might help you brainstorm what your next app or set of apps will do.

 

Customer-focused:

 

• Service scheduler.

• Inside circle deals.

• Access to specific data or performance metrics.

• Direct communication with their representative.

• Delivery, shipping or productivity tracker.

 

Employee focused:

 

• Sales tracker.

• Direct communication with customers including secured data feed.

• Time tracker.

• Easy reporting tool.

• Financial access or activity log.

• Bar code scanner for supply chain management.

• GPS based position reporting.

• Intra-company data and image feed.

 

The sky is the limit. No matter what industry you’re in, you can create at least one if not several apps. Apps can boost your performance, create a stronger team and bring your customers closer than ever. Put your best heads together, along with your chosen app developer, and see what innovations you can create in today’s mobile age!